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How many kinds of smoking wood is too many?

daspyknows

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Since buying my stick burner I have been working to acquire a variety of smoking woods. I have now gotten to 10 kinds of wood (oak, almond, walnut, apple, pear, cherry, citrus and avocado and today madrone and maple). All told, it is a bit more than a cord so I should be set for awhile but I will keep looking (I can't help it). Living in Northern California I haven't seen pecan or hickory which I wish I could find. Looking forward to trying the new additions when I do the rest of the package of beef ribs I bought at Costco on Sunday.
 

poacherjoe

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You should be able to find Pecan growing somewhere near you. Try finding so Mountain Mahogany which grows in California from 1500 foot elevation to 10000 feet. The smokehouse in Bishop Ca. only uses Mt Mahogany . You can get Plum . Peach,, Apricot and Persimmon too and Manzanita works too
 

daspyknows

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I think I know where to get Manzanita but the guy wants to sell a full cord. I heard Mahogany is good too. Always looking for more kinds.
 

forktender

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I think I know where to get Manzanita but the guy wants to sell a full cord. I heard Mahogany is good too. Always looking for more kinds.
If you need Manzanita or Madrone call your local state foresters office and ask to speak to a local Forster.
9 times out of 10 they will tell you where there have been local cuttings and they would be happy to have to take out a truck load or ten. I get Madrone firewood this way from the North Bay Area. Make sure you have at least 5 extra chain saw chains Madrone eat them up pretty quickly but it's the best burning wood on the west coast by far it burns super hot with little ash.
 

poacherjoe

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I think I know where to get Manzanita but the guy wants to sell a full cord. I heard Mahogany is good too. Always looking for more kinds.
Warning ! I got in trouble here just saying " Mahogany " Make sure it's Mountain Mahogany . Do some research and you will see why.
 

chef jimmyj

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Here is a question. Have you tried burning and cooking with each of these?
Turns out, a large percentage of people, including myself, can't tell the difference between various wood tastes and smells. They can distinguish groups, like the difference between pungent Mesquite, middle of the road Nut Woods, Maple and Oak, and mild Fruit Woods. But not individuals. Maybe you too only need Three types...JJ
 

bill1

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I'm a 3-type guy as well. I try to always have on hand my "strongs" (hickory or mesquite) my "mediums" (just about everything else, including blends), and my "light" (apple). There are a lot of variables in smoking (humidity, temperature, meat type, cut, and surface treatments) that can be hard to control that I believe make a bigger flavor difference that wood differences, but if you can control those variables (hold them constant) then I think you'll have fun letting your nose and palatte decide what wood gives the flavors you like best. Of course you need the room to store them all too!
 

SmokinAl

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I buy what is available around here at a decent price, which is hickory & oak. But lately I have been paying more for mesquite. I really like the flavor. Apple is what I use when cold smoking lox, but that is pellets.
You just need to try all the different woods you have & see which you like best. But I’m with JJ on this one, I doubt you will have anybody tell you what wood you used to smoke your brisket, or ribs, etc.
Al
 

daspyknows

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I'm a 3-type guy as well. I try to always have on hand my "strongs" (hickory or mesquite) my "mediums" (just about everything else, including blends), and my "light" (apple). There are a lot of variables in smoking (humidity, temperature, meat type, cut, and surface treatments) that can be hard to control that I believe make a bigger flavor difference that wood differences, but if you can control those variables (hold them constant) then I think you'll have fun letting your nose and palatte decide what wood gives the flavors you like best. Of course you need the room to store them all too!
I have been trying different combinations and have noticed different snoke "flavors". Last weekend I did beef short ribs with oak, walnut and cherry and really liked the smoke flavor. This weekend will change it up using something different and see if either my son or I can notice the difference.
 

Bearcarver

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The only difference I ever notice is the strength of the woods---Not Flavor.
Hickory is strong enough for my tastes, and I love it on just about anything.
Mesquite is a little too strong.
All the others are a little weak, but I find Apple & Cherry are worth using if I want the smoke strength a little lighter.

Bear
 

1MoreFord

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I can't really identify the taste difference in individual woods although I can Always tell when someone is cooking with Hickory. Not cooked with but cooking aroma. I can tell the difference in smoke strength among groups of woods.

I'd go with three also. Hickory or Mesquite, then Oak, and then Alder, Maple, Apple or Cherry depending on what is easiest to source. Pecan could be there too grouped with Oak I think.
 

poacherjoe

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Well when someone is just starting out and has access to such a large variety of wood to test I say let them be the judge for them self and have fun doing it !! Keep a log book and experiment . Keep on smoking
 

Bearcarver

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For me, for about 25 years, the smell of "Burnt Oak" meant it was time to change the blade in my Table Saw!!

Bear
 

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